Born: Bedford, N.Y.
Education: Bachelor of science, finance, Ithaca College, N.Y.
First job: My first job out of school was as a salesman. I think it’s a great developmental role for anyone in business.
What is the best business lesson you’ve learned?
Hire the right people and put them in the right jobs. It’s a great dynamic to watch when the right person has been placed in the right job. It’s incredible the impact a single individual can have.
You think back to the times of the American Revolution, back when there was maybe 10,000 people living in Boston. You think about the impact that people like Samuel Adams and John Adams had, and that speaks to the importance one can have to the greater good. And quality people bring with them quality people. That is one of the most important lessons to learn in business.
What traits or skills are essential for a business leader?
Integrity always has to be high on the list, and then you always have to talk about passion and enthusiasm. I also think about what I would call having a level of rational optimism. Those are critical traits, along with having a sense of what is possible.
What is a universal truth you’ve learned about leadership?
Leadership is about leading. How many books have been written about that? There is no single recipe for what makes for a good leader, but you need solid character and a commitment to what you’re trying to accomplish.